Knox Board sets tax rates, hear about current and upcoming construction projects

Central Elementary students line up in front of the Board and audience to recite the Pledge. They are holding miniature American flags.

Photos from the meeting are available in the gallery. 

Video will be available later this week on


Communications Items
The Board meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance led by the Central Elementary kindergarten students.  Board member Mrs. Carrie Runyon Smith provided pizza for the students and their guests prior to the start of the meeting and Board members Runyon and Merida handed out Pledge coloring books on behalf of the district and story books donated by Save the Children.  (Photos in the gallery).

Knox Central senior Kandace Messer shared with the Board her experience at the Governor’s Scholars Program this past summer at Morehead.  The five week program taught Kandace a lot as she shared in her presentation to the Board.  Today, as a result of GSP, Kandace looks to stay at home and be a Bulldog and come back to the community and invest (and eat at 2 Amigos!)

New teachers to Knox, both first year and veteran teachers, were introduced.  Superintendent Sprinkles presented each with a small gift from the Board.  There are over 30 new faces in Knox County classrooms with the list growing as additional positions are filled and paperwork is completed to officially hire positions.

Representatives from the Knox County Tennis Team were present to share information about the players, academics, and sources of information and funding for courts.

Architect updates from Summit and Trane provided updates on lighting upgrades (almost 98% complete) and various construction and renovation projects throughout the district.  Draft locations for possible tennis courts were shared with the Board.  The Board questioned the sites that were proposed and decided to move forward with the BG-1 process with more work to be done on deciding on a location.

Action Items
The Board approved consent items which included field trips and fundraising requests,  copier contracts, a revision to dues and fees, and provided a finance option for a new scrubber at Lynn Camp.   For motor vehicle and watercraft, the Board set the rate at 50.2 cents per $100 value.  For real estate, personal property, motor and aircraft, the compensating rate was approved at 54.8.   That rate is based on the prior year’s actual collection and any changes in property assessments.  The compensating rate should provide the school district with nearly the same tax revenue in 2019-2020.

The Board was presented with several building projects to consider.   A BG-1 for KC tennis courts and LC tennis court renovation was approved.  The process now goes to get bids on pricing and selecting a site.  A BG-1 for new bleachers at Lynn Camp was approved.  The bleachers in the gymnasium are now twenty years old and in need of repair.  Final plans for heat pump replacements at Lynn Camp were approved.  A BG-1 for a new or renovated greenhouse at Lynn Camp was tabled.  The Board asked the architect to come back with pricing on the panels that are commercial grade, that are meant for greenhouse use, and for labor costs.  The Board will decide based on costs whether the installation can be performed locally or will need to be performed by contractors.

Several MOU and MOAs were approved at the meeting including one for Tri County Skills U, which provides adult education services,  a contract with Bell County Schools for CDL examination services, one with Whitley County for hearing impaired services, a continuing MOU with HealthCorps with the Board asking that the coordinator look at producing informative programs for teens and vapor use, a continuing agreement with Union College for dual credit, and approved action with Elgin to reimburse the district for bus usage.  The annual KECSAC agreement between EKU and Day Treatment and Appalachian Children’s Home was approved for the new year.

The Board approved external club (booster) agreements and a list of school activity fund donations.  An agreement was made to continue TalentED services for employee hiring.  The Board entered into an agreement with KDE to release a Knox employee through an MOA to serve as a novice reduction coach for the department.

Staffing and salary schedules were a discussed topic at the meeting.   Superintendent Sprinkles shared data with the Board that for first-year drivers, competitively, we are in the top-paying districts.  Once a driver has accumulated 10 or more years, the gap in pay begins bringing Knox County in the bottom listings. A work session will be held to discuss driver pay and field trip pay.  The Board has indicated that it will take action at the next meeting to correct the salary schedules.   A classified speech therapist salary schedule was approved due to changes in certification by the Kentucky Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.  Those going through the program at universities are no longer receiving a teaching certificate but a certificate from the KY Board.   The salary schedule mirrors the schedule of current speech therapists that are already hired and was presented a certificate from EPSB.   Two new maintenance positions were created to replace recent vacancies.  A middle school guidance position was created at Lynn Camp Middle to focus on the social and emotional well-being of students.

The Board has not set a date yet for the work session to discuss bus driver pay.  The next regularly scheduled meeting is set for September 23, 6:45 pm, at the Board Annex.

An official record of Board minutes will be available for review after their approval at the September meeting.